Walls come tumbling down as Hawera's town centre upgrade begins

Catherine Groenestein/Fairfax NZ

The old Campbells building was demolished on Thursday to make way for a new greenspace linking Hawera's main street to a free car park.

The ground shook and concrete dust filled the air in the centre of Hawera as the 123-year-old Campbell building was torn down.

A small crowd cheered as the facade fell around 5.30pm on Thursday, the most dramatic part of the demolition process that began about three weeks ago on Hawera's main street.

A digger with a long extension arm was used to pull the supporting walls, then the building's facade, down.

A hi-ab truck was used to support the facade of the 123-year-old Campbell building during the demolition in Hawera's ...
Catherine Groenestein

A hi-ab truck was used to support the facade of the 123-year-old Campbell building during the demolition in Hawera's main street on Thursday..

While the building's exact age is unknown, lettering on the facade stated 'established 1893'. It was originally used as a grocery store by the Campbell brothers, according to South Taranaki District Council records.

READ MORE:
Quake-prone building demolished as town centre development begins
New pedestrian walkway in Hawera gets name from past butcher's shop

The removal of the old earthquake-prone building by Collingwood Civil marks the start of Hawera's first town centre redevelopment project.

Petra Finer Petra Finer Petra Finer Catherine Groenestein Petra Finer Petra Finer Petra Finer Petra Finer Petra Finer Petra Finer Catherine Groenestein Catherine Groenestein Catherine Groenestein Catherine Groenestein

The old facade teeters during the demolition.

The Campbell building facade tumbles during demolition.

Seconds before the old facade hits the ground and crumbles during demolition.

The facade of the 123-year-old Campbell building is propped up with a hiab during the demolition.

Curtains still hung in the empty Campbell building.

Royden Collingwood takes a phone cal during the demolition process.

Debris tumbles from an old building during demolition.

A digger pulls the walls from behind.

Down comes a wall during demolition.

Behind the scenes of a demolition.

Workers peer over the top during demolition

Royden Collingwood unbolts scaffolding from the facade before it was torn down.

A digger tears part of the wall down.

A wall falls during demolition.

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In its place by the end of the year will be the new Campbell Lane, a pedestrian thoroughfare with paving, green space, trees, seating, entrance pillars and lighting columns leading through to Cornish's carpark.

Final plans are still being finalised for the project.

"The aim is to better connect the Cornish's Car Park with the main street retail area and improve use of the free, unrestricted parking that is available," South Taranaki District Council project co-ordinator Phil Waite said.

Design work is near completion and Waite said the project could be finished by Christmas.

A second open air walkway, Butcher's Lane, on the other side of High St, is the next project planned as part of the council's $12.8 million town centre revamp. 

The second walkway will link to the free Napier St carpark, with physical work to begin later this year, Waite said.

A former butcher's shop building is being removed to make way for the walkway, but it will leave its name behind. 

The building beside the Grubi Arcade had previously been, amongst other things, a butchery, fruit and vege shop, wine bar and hot bread shop

 - Stuff

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